From Cusco we boarded the VISTADOME train which we were pleasantly surprised to be very modern with clear glass ceilings looking up to the jungle canopy above and very friendly staff with excellent english. It was as clean and comfortable as any train.
On the first day we did a light tour of the Machu Picchu taking a bus up from the town while our luggage was sent ahead to the resort. We met again with our excellent guide Jorge provided by Coltur Peru Agency (partner of A2A) who was our guide in Cusco.
Upon reaching Machu Picchu we had a decent buffet lunch which had alpaca beef at the top and proceeded with the tour. It was as breathtaking as we had imagined and the weather while cloudy (which we were told was most of the year – hence the name Cloud forest) was cool and pleasant despite a slight drizzle.
Travel Tip: It rains most of the year due to humidity so wear a light waterproof jacket and on top of thermal on the cooler months (You can always store it in your backpack after once you start warming up with the climb).
The tight paths that crisscross the site make for some tight areas so just be patient and follow your guide while they navigate the crowds.
Travel Tip: If you are traveling on your own go earlier so it is not so crowded with the day tours from Cusco
Look out for little picture spots all along the route. It pays to have your own guide so you can go on your own pace.
InkaTerra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
After a light afternoon trek, we checked into our hotel InkaTerra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel located conveniently minutes away from the bus terminal. Ahhh… The simple elegant cottage was lovely to just hang up your feet and stare out the window at the lunch gardens all around. The resort prides itself in being GREEN certified and in harmony with nature.
We elected to dine in the room since we had a lovely living room. My husband loved eating in his pajamas next to the fireplace. The food was amazing! It was so cozy!
Hike up Huayna Picchu
Only 200 people a day are allowed to hike up the mountain overlooking Macchu Pichu plus extra pay for a very challenging uphill climb…. but it is SO WORTH IT!
Travel tip: Use a walking stick to make the hike easier. Learn to use it properly as well
Finally after getting off the Bingham train we reached our destination: Sacred Valley
Our lovely hotel was the Sol Y Luna nestled in the valley. It is rated as one of the top resorts and we quickly discovered why. The rooms are very colorful and surrounded by lush vegetation amidst beautiful mountains.
A lovely ride back and forth amidst the beautiful area was so romantic and a must do for couples. Just be sure to stretch if you are rusty at horseback.
Macchu Pichu was truly amazing place as it may be the few places that was spared from the Spanish influence. You can really see their advances used in empire building with roads like the Inca trail as well as reflecting pools that allowed them to observe the stars and plot the harvest seasons. We can learn a lot by discovering the past and applying their age old lesson to the here and now.
So we end our Peru leg of the trip…. Our last post will cover the even more amazing Chile – Matetic Vineyard and Patagonia!